SOME PROBLEMS WITH Rob Bell's TEACHINGS (Part I)
"WE WANT spiritual direction, but it has to be real for US
and available when WE need it. WE WANT a new format for
getting Christian perspectives...
... issues that WE care about, that WE want to talk about, and it comes in a way that fits OUR world. It's a format that's there for US when WE need it, as WE need it, how WE need it." (1)
This is the statement that introduces (on the website) the Rob Bell Nooma teaching materials and videos from Mars Hill Church.
You may ask: So, what's wrong with that? Well, it's a bit self centered. Self-centeredness is the exact opposite of how Jesus presented this call to follow him. Jesus gave one option in following Him. That is on His terms. To follow Him the way HE wants it, when HE wants it, what HE cares about, what HE wants to talk about in a way that fits HIS world in a format that's there for HIM. It's got nothing to do with us. At all. Oh, and by the way, this is nothing "new".
Here's how Christ described the cost of discipleship Luke 9:23, 24: "Then he said to them all: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." (NIV)
Maybe the youth of today can spot phoniness a mile away. I don't know. But I do know that it would benefit today's young people greatly to recognize the self-centeredness reflected in the opening statement of the Rob Bell video series (we'll discuss the content of the videos in the near future). I once heard that it's hard to see your whole body when your nose is pressed up against the mirror of self. This bent towards self fulfillment is dangerous and counter to the Gospel. It conveys a different Gospel, one without inconvenience to self, which scripture warns against. Consider Galatians 1:7, 8. "Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!" (NIV)
2. Emergents like Rob Bell often prefer to embrace mystery (2) rather than certainty. That's why Rob Bell, as shocking as this is, recently led YOGA breathing exercises in one of his church services (3). It's bad enough that Rob Bell presents a discipleship that is totally on your terms without costing you any inconvenience and promising instant gratification, but going so far as to conduct YOGA exercises at Mars Hill Church?. Since when should an evangelical pastor promote idolatrous, mystical, eastern, religious practices in the church? This goes totally against what Ephesians 5:11 tells us: "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (KJV)
Rob Bell did not reprove unfruitful works of darkness like YOGA, he has actually approved and promoted them. Can today's "Christ followers" spot idolatrous Eastern mysticism a mile away? Many at Mars Hill Church obviously can't.
Stay tuned for Part II.
1. taken from NOOMA FILMS.
2. ("...we want to embrace mystery, rather than conquer it."..Rob Bell
Christianity Today, November 2004 article entitled THE EMERGENT MYSTIQUE)
3. taken from an Emergent blog site: echurchnetwork.net